Office of Public Prosecutions

Fiji DPP responds to allegation from British NGO

A few days ago the NZ media breathlessly reported, via Michael Field, that a bunch of British busy-bodies had prepared a report on the rule of law in Fiji after a sneaky undercover trip there late last year.

The Director of Public Prosecutions has responded to the report and since the NZ media continue to report in a bias and underhand manner all matter with regard to Fiji I am posting the response here:

Nigel Dodds, the Chairman of an obscure British NGO, Law Society Charity, has publicly spread false, outrageous and inflammatory allegations against the Fijian judicial system. The intellectually dishonest allegations follow a private visit to Fiji by Mr. Dodds in November of 2011, during which he claims to have interviewed many lawyers, judges and opposition politicians.

Mr. Dodds spent approximately four days in Fiji. Four months later, he is making an undisguised attempt to draw publicity for himself and his group as a supposed expert on Fiji’s judicial system.

Mr. Dodds never contacted the Director of Public Prosecutions or any other government official for his “report”.

“The failure to solicit any opinion from people actively engaged with the Fijian legal system strongly suggests that Mr Dodds and his organisation are either being used by certain disgruntled people in Fiji to promote a political agenda or are being deliberately obtuse. Either way, the report is intellectually dishonest and does their organisation no credit.” said Director of Public Prosecutions, Mr Christopher Pryde”

In an online critique of the report, one analyst asked, “Is this genuine charitable work? Or subcontracted political advocacy? There is little of professionalism here.”

The report, which Dodds did not provide to the Fijian government, makes racist allegations against The Office of Public Prosecutions.

Mr. Pryde said, “Mr Dodds seems to have a problem with Sri Lankan lawyers. The DPP’s Office recruits staff on the basis of merit, and is not concerned with a lawyer’s ethnic background but with their professionalism and integrity.”

Pryde added, “The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions in an independent office and the Director of Public Prosecutions has the sole responsibility for criminal prosecutions in Fiji. This is without recourse to any Government minister, including the Attorney-General. The Office is non-political and independent in its decision-making.”